For those of you who have never heard of Reading Rainbow, you missed out. It was a classic 80’s children’s TV show that taught children by picking up a book, they could “go anywhere” and “be anything”. It was about imagination, education, children’s books, literacy and more. It won awards and remains the foundation for many millennial’s love of reading.
For those of you who did watch Reading Rainbow, watch this video for a a trip down memory lane.
It almost brings a tear to my eye hearing that theme song. If you want to see the original opening theme video check it out here.
It was hosted by LeVar Burton. Famed for his portrayal of Kunta Kinte in ROOTS (a TV series that explored the path of slavery in the US) and for his role as Geordi La Forge from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Burton has continued to be involved with Reading Rainbow and the fight against illiteracy in the US. Most recently through a release of an app two years ago, that allows children to read unlimited books, explore video field trips and earn rewards for reading.
Two days ago, Burton launched a project on Kickstarter with the goal to raise $1,000,000 through the crowd and bring Reading Rainbow back to every child, everywhere. According to the kickstarter project page, 1 in 4 kids in the US grow up illiterate – obviously not a good thing. Burton and his company want to change that by bringing Reading Rainbow to the web (not just in an iPad app), classroom versions and deliver to schools in need for free.
He raised the entire goal of $1,000,000 in 1 DAY. They fundraised 2 million by the second day and today (the third day at 10:08am PST) they are already up to $2.75 million. AMAZING! The catalyst of this incredible support from the over 60,000 backers, I presume, has been nostalgia, LeVar Burton’s fame and social media. I first heard about it on Buzzfeed here. Of course it’s all over the twittosphere just checkout @levarburton and @readingrainbow
Also, his reaction to reaching one million dollars made me cry
The power of crowdfunding for good causes is really humbling. Can’t wait to see how much they raise before July 2nd and also to get my Reading Rainbow tote bag.